Mobile Home Fire Kills Mother, Injures Child

Teen credited with saving sister's life

Tuesday, Dec 11, 2012  |  Updated 11:43 AM CDT
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Teen Saves Sister from Fire That Kills Mother

Chuck Allen, Fire Marshal Van Zandt County

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A fatal mobile home fire in Van Zandt County is being blamed on flammable items being left too close to a space heater.

Fire Marshal Chuck Allen tells NBC 5 that a mother and four children were inside the mobile home when the fire started at about 12:30 a.m. Tuesday.

Officials said the family woke to the smell of smoke in the home and that three of the children, who had been sleeping in the living room, made it out of the home.  One of those children, a 16-year-old boy, then went to a window to try to rescue his mother and 14-year-old sister who were trapped inside.

The teen broke the window and was able to pull his sister to safety, though she did suffer smoke inhalation and burns to her hands and arms.  She was transported by CareFlite to Parkland Hospital in Dallas where she is expected to make a full recovery.

The boy was not able to rescue his mother and she was pronounced dead at the scene.

"There is no doubt that the 16-year-old male saved the life of his sister.  He tried feverishly to get to his mother, but could not gain access to her due to the heat and smoke," Allen said in a news release.

The teen and firefighter were both treated and released for minor injuries.  The other child, 20 and a family friend, 18, were not injured.

Allen said the space heater was left on and unattended in a bedroom that was not in use.

The names of the victims have not yet been released.

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